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Tbilisi’s attack on opposition

07.07.2011  |  20:09

Tbilisi’s attack on opposition. 19312.jpegAfter a barefaced raid organized by Vano Merabishvili's officers against Zurab Giguashvili, a relative of Irakli Okruashvili, representatives of the Georgian Party published an address condemning prosecutions for political motives. Unexpectedly this document became a platform to bring together various opposition forces. The address of the Georgian party was supported by other 14 oppositional movements and NGOs. GeorgiaTimes correspondent asks Irakli Menagarishvili, director of the Center for Strategic Studies, if these accusations of


political terror are true to fact.

On Monday night a large group of policemen came to the headquarters of the Georgian Party for Zurab Giguashvili, Irakli Okruashvili's uncle.

"Surveillance is an ordinary method used by special services. But in this case it's pure persecution when the party's head office and its activists are monitored continuously with photo- and video recording in 24/7 format", - Erosi Kitsmarishvili, political secretary of the party stated. Sozar Subari, the party's leader remarks that the authorities take revenge on Okruashvili's relatives being unable to get Okruashvili himself.

"Zurab Giguashvili's guilt is that he is Irakli Okruashvili's uncle", - was the ex ombudsman's comment on the raid of Vano Merabishvili's agents on the party's office. - Today people in Georgia are punished on these absurd pretexts. This is a style of governance of our current authorities aimed at intimidation".

After this act of intimidation activists of the Georgian party published an address condemning political repressions in the country.

"We decisively condemned inhuman, illegal and criminal attitude of the Georgian authorities to citizens of the country calling to stop violence against people detained for political reasons", - the document reads. - The purpose of this policy of force is to create an atmosphere of fear and mistrust in Georgia so that it would be easier for Saakashvili's authorities to run the country with authoritarian methods".

Unexpectedly, the statement was supported by other 14 opposition parties and у few NGOs as well as individual opponents of Mikheil Saakashvili's regime. 25 oppositionists are victims of repressions: they were accused of illegal purchase and storage of arms and involvement in criminal groups. Terror is becoming massive: discordant opposition has got united on the idea that tomorrow anyone can take the place of these unlucky ones. Irakli

Menagarishvili, director of the Center for Strategic Studies, said it in an interview with GeorgiaTimes.

"The method of the action that was carried out causes protest of different political forces. When these events were shown on TV, it was not clear why the search was done and how. Actions of the authorities after May 26 are not an objective investigation of what happened in Rustaveli avenue. All this is politically biased - no doubt about it. Certainly, each case of persecution against oppositionists by the authorities must be considered individually, but on the whole there is an impression of a targeted attack. The Georgian Party is the first to be attacked by the law-enforcement bodies. When over 150 policemen are chasing one man - naturally it looks like a raid against opponents of the authorities. The support that the rest of the opposition offers to Georgian party is a sign of understanding that next time any of them can face that, - the politologist comments on the opposition's attitude. - Sure, it's not the first time that the opposition has been accusing the state of political repressions. The government is constantly accused of creating an atmosphere of fear and tension.

But the fact that these accusations are regular and more insistent shows that this problem is recurrent and must be paid attention to. No one, primarily the state, can ignore these accusations".

Apollo Maridze

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